Sammy Sosa

Samuel Kelvin Peralta Sosa (born November 12, 1968) is a Dominican American former professional baseball right fielder. Starting his career with the Texas Rangers, Sosa became a member of the Chicago Cubs in 1992 and became one of the game's best hitters. Sosa hit his 400th home run in his 1,354th game and his 5,273rd at-bat, reaching this milestone quicker than any player in National League history. He is one of nine players in MLB history to hit 600 career home runs.[1]

In 1998, Sosa and Mark McGwire achieved national fame for their home run-hitting prowess in pursuit of Roger Maris' home run record. Sosa is best known for his time with the Cubs where he became a 7-time All-Star while holding numerous team records. He finished his career with stints with the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers.[2] With the Rangers, Sosa hit his 600th career home run to become the fifth player in MLB history to reach the milestone.

Sosa is second all-time in home runs among foreign-born MLB players and is one of only three National League players since 1900 to reach 160 RBIs in a season (2001). Sosa is also the only player to have hit 60 or more home runs in a single season three times.

In a 2005 congressional hearing, Sosa—through his attorney—denied having used performance-enhancing drugs during his playing career.

Sammy Sosa
Sosa swinging4
Sosa with the Baltimore Orioles in 2005
Right fielder
Born: November 12, 1968 (age 50)
San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 16, 1989, for the Texas Rangers
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 2007, for the Texas Rangers
MLB statistics
Batting average.273
Hits2,408
Home runs609
Runs batted in1,667
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early life and education

Sosa was born in the Dominican Republic. Though born in a Batey community in Consuelo,[3] his officially registered birthplace is San Pedro de Macorís, which was "the largest town nearby.[4]

Sosa is known to family and friends as "Mikey". His maternal grandmother, who had suggested his birth name of Samuel, also came up with his nickname: "[She] heard the name on a soap opera she liked and decided from that moment on he would be Mikey."[5]

Major league career

Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox (1989–1991)

Sosa made his major league debut on June 16, 1989, with the Texas Rangers, wearing #17 and leading off as the starting left fielder. He hit his first career home run off Roger Clemens.[6]

On July 29, 1989, the Rangers traded Sosa with Wilson Álvarez and Scott Fletcher to the Chicago White Sox for Harold Baines and Fred Manrique.[7] In 1990, Sosa batted .233 with 15 home runs, 70 runs batted in, 10 triples, and 32 stolen bases. However, he also struck out 150 times, fourth most in the American League. Sosa started the 1991 season by hitting 2 home runs and driving in 5 runs. However, he would slump for the rest of the year and ended up batting .203 with 10 home runs and 33 runs batted in.

Chicago Cubs (1992–2004)

The White Sox traded Sosa and Ken Patterson to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder George Bell before the 1992 season.[8]

Sosa batted .260 with 8 home runs and 25 RBIs in his first season with the Cubs. Although not spectacular numbers, it showed that Sosa improved as a hitter. In 1993, Sosa batted .261 with 33 home runs with 93 RBIs. He also showed his speed by stealing 38 bases. He became the Cubs' first 30-30 player in their history. Sosa continued to hit for power and speed in 1994 but he also improved his batting average. He ended up batting .300 with 25 home runs, 70 RBIs, and 22 stolen bases.

Sosa was named to his first All-Star team in 1995. In 144 games, he batted .268 with 36 home runs and 119 RBIs. Sosa continued his success with the Cubs in 1996 as he batted .273 with 40 home runs and 100 RBIs. However, the next year, Sosa struggled. Despite hitting 36 home runs with 119 RBIs, Sosa batted just .251. He struggled to get on base(.300 on-base percentage) and led the league in strikeouts with 174.

After years as a respected power/speed threat with a rocket arm in right field, he emerged during the 1998 season as one of baseball's greatest. It was in this season that both Sosa and Mark McGwire were involved in the "home run record chase", when both players' prowess for hitting home runs drew national attention as they attempted to pass Roger Maris' single season home run mark of 61 home runs that had stood since 1961. For the early months of the year, Sosa trailed McGwire significantly, being as many as 16 homers behind at one point in May. But as the chase progressed, Sosa would rally and eventually tie McGwire with 46 home runs each on August 10, after a couple months of straggling within a few homers for the lead. However, the moment was short lived as McGwire would pull away slightly and reach 62 home runs to break the record first on September 8, but once again Sosa would excitingly heat up the race by tying McGwire once again at 62 on September 13. Eleven days later, with two games left to play in the season, the two were tied at 66 home runs each. Sosa would end the season with 66 after playing both games without a home run(still a team record), just behind McGwire's 70 after hitting two home runs in each of the last two games. However, Sammy had become the first Major League batter ever to hit 66 home runs in a season. It was during that season, that Cubs announcer Chip Caray nicknamed him "Slammin' Sammy", a nickname that quickly spread. In addition, Sammy produced then career highs in batting average and slugging percentage, at .308 and .647 respectively. Sosa also led the league in RBIs and runs scored.

Sosa cubs jersey
Sosa wore #21 with the Cubs in honor of his childhood idol Roberto Clemente.[9]

Also in 1998, Sosa's 416 total bases were the most in a single season since Stan Musial's 429 in 1948. Sosa's performance in the month of June, during which Sosa belted 20 home runs, knocked in 47 runs, and posted an .842 slugging percentage, was one of the greatest offensive outbursts in major league history. Sosa won the National League Most Valuable Player Award for leading the Cubs into the playoffs in 1998, earning every first-place vote except for the two cast by St. Louis writers, who voted for McGwire. He and McGwire shared Sports Illustrated magazine's 1998 "Sportsman of the Year" award. Sosa was honored with a ticker-tape parade in his honor in New York City, and he was invited to be a guest at US President Bill Clinton's 1999 State of the Union Address. 1998 was also the first time the Cubs made the post-season since 1989. The Cubs qualified as the NL Wild Card team, but were swept by the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS.

In the 1999 season, Sosa hit 63 home runs, again trailing Mark McGwire, who hit 65. In the 2000 season, Sosa led the league by hitting 50 home runs. He received the Babe Ruth Home Run Award for leading MLB in homers.[10]

In 2001, he hit 64 home runs, becoming the first player to hit 60 home runs in three seasons in his career. However, he did not lead the league in any of those seasons; in 2001, he finished behind Barry Bonds, who hit 73 homers, breaking the single-season home run record set by McGwire in 1998 (70). In the same season he set personal records in runs scored (146), RBI (160), walks (116), on-base percentage (.437), slugging percentage (.737), and batting average (.328).[2] He led the majors in runs and RBI, was 2nd in home runs, 2nd in slugging percentage, 1st in total bases, 3rd in walks, 4th in on-base percentage, 12th in batting average, and 15th in hits. He also surpassed his 1998 number in total bases, racking up 425. Sosa once again led the league in home runs with 49 in 2002. Known as a free-swinger in his early years, and as a good strikeout candidate, Sammy became an effective hitter for average. He owns numerous team records for the Cubs, and he holds the major-league record for the most home runs hit in a month (20, in June 1998). In recognition of his accomplishments as a hitter, Sosa won the Silver Slugger Award (an award for offensive output, voted on by managers and coaches) in 1995 and in 1998 through 2002.[2]

In 2003, the Cubs won the National League Central Division title. The year was not all good news for Sosa, however. In May, he spent his first period on the disabled list since 1996 after having an injured toenail removed. On June 3, 2003, Sosa was ejected from a Chicago Cubs-Tampa Bay Devil Rays game in the first inning when umpires discovered he had been using a corked bat.[11] Major League Baseball confiscated and tested 76 of Sosa's other bats after his ejection; all were found to be clean, with no cork. Five bats he had sent to the Hall of Fame in past years were also tested, and were all clean as well.[12] Sosa stated that he had accidentally used the corked bat, which he claimed he only used during batting practice.

"I use that bat for batting practice. It's something that I take the blame for. It's a mistake, I know that. I feel sorry. I just apologize to everybody that are embarrassed."[13]

When Dusty Baker, the Cub manager was interviewed later, he stated any use of corked bats on his team is strictly prohibited. On June 6, Sosa was suspended for eight games.[14] However, the suspension was reduced to seven games after appeal on June 11.[15] Sosa finished the season with 40 home runs, and he hit two more in the 2003 NLCS against the Florida Marlins, which the Cubs led 3 games to 1 before ultimately falling in seven games.

In May 2004, Sosa suffered an odd injury while sitting next to his locker chatting with reporters before a game in San Diego's Petco Park. He sneezed very violently, causing severe back pain. He was diagnosed with back spasms and placed on the disabled list. Later, he fell into one of the worst slumps of his career, only snapping out of it during the last week of the season. He was greatly depressed when the officials told him he couldn't play. He finished with 35 homers, far below his numbers of his best years. In his final 10 years with the Cubs he clubbed 479 home runs; the most in history over a 10-year span. The final straw for the Cubs was an incident in late 2004. Sosa requested to sit out the last game of the season, which was at home against the Atlanta Braves, and he left Wrigley Field early in the game. It was his last time in a Cubs uniform.

Baltimore Orioles and year off (2005–2006)

Sosa Spring training
Sosa in spring training with the Orioles in 2005

On January 28, 2005, the Cubs traded Sosa to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for infielder-outfielder Jerry Hairston, Jr., infielder Mike Fontenot, and RHP Dave Crouthers. To facilitate the deal, Sosa and his agent agreed to waive the clause that guaranteed his 2006 salary, and the players' union indicated it would not object to that agreement. Under the deal, Sosa earned $17,875,000 for the 2005 season, with the Cubs paying $7 million of his salary. By playing for the 2005 Orioles alongside fellow 500-home-run batter Rafael Palmeiro, Sosa and Palmeiro became the first 500 home run club members in history to play together on the same team after reaching the 500 home run plateau.[a]

Sosa finished the 2005 season batting .221 with 14 home runs, his worst performance since 1992, and continuing his post-2001 trend of declines in batting average, homers, total bases, and RBI. On December 7, 2005, the Orioles decided not to offer him an arbitration contract, effectively ending his Baltimore Orioles tenure and making him a free agent.

In 2005, The Sporting News published an update of their 1999 book Baseball's 100 Greatest Players. Sosa did not make the original edition, but for the 2005 update, with his career totals considerably higher, he was ranked at Number 95. During a stretch of nine consecutive years, Sosa hit 35 or more home runs and 100+ RBIs, all with the Chicago Cubs.[2]

At the end of January 2006, the Washington Nationals offered Sosa two different minor-league offers, both of which he turned down. On February 15, 2006, Sosa's agent Adam Katz stated: "We're not going to put him on the retirement list. We decided that [not putting him on that list] was the best thing to do. But I can say, with reasonable certainty, that we've seen Sammy in a baseball uniform for the last time."[16]

During that year, Sosa accompanied President Fernández of the Dominican Republic on several diplomatic trips including to the United States, Japan, and Taiwan.

Texas Rangers and end of career (2007–2009)

The Texas Rangers, Sosa's original team, signed him to a minor league deal worth $500,000 on January 30, 2007. This was the same contract that Sosa turned down the previous year from the Nationals. The contract included an invitation to spring training, where Sosa competed for a spot in the lineup with Nelson Cruz, Jason Botts, and other rookies/prospects.[17] Sosa was successful during spring training and was added to the team's 25-man roster. He started the 2007 season as the Rangers' designated hitter and occasional right fielder.

At the same time, the Chicago Cubs awarded Sosa's number 21 to new pitcher Jason Marquis, who coincidentally served up Sosa's 600th career home run. Ted Lilly, who had also signed with the Cubs that prior winter, had requested number 31 but was told it was not available as it was going to be retired for Greg Maddux and Fergie Jenkins, and they were just waiting for Maddux to retire. This caused some concern, due to Sosa's accomplishments with the Cubs, including his status as the Cubs' all-time home run leader.[18]

On April 26, 2007, Sosa made history by hitting a home run in his 45th major league ballpark. He has also homered in The Ballpark at Disney's Wide World of Sports, near Orlando, Florida, a usually minor-league and Spring training park that hosted a regular season series between the Rangers and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in May 2007, although he did not hit a homer at the two regular season games the Cubs played at the Tokyo Dome in 2000 vs. the Mets.

On June 20, 2007, Sosa hit a home run off of Jason Marquis during an inter-league game against the Chicago Cubs. Sosa became only the fifth man in history, following Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Barry Bonds, to hit 600 regular season home runs. The home run was the first one that Sosa had recorded against the Cubs, and as a result he has hit a home run against every active MLB team.[19] Sosa is the Cubs' all-time home run leader, having hit 545 with that team.

On May 28, 2008, Sosa announced that he instructed his agent not to offer his services to any MLB team for the 2008 season, and planned on filing for retirement, but never did.[20]

On December 25, 2008, Sosa announced he intended to unretire and play in the World Baseball Classic and once again test the free agent market in hopes of signing with a Major League ballclub in 2009. Sosa said that he had been keeping in shape at his home, and was hoping that after a strong World Baseball Classic he would prove to major-league teams that he was still capable of playing in the MLB. However, he was not selected as part of the Dominican Republic's roster. He remained a free agent and did not actively look for a team.

On June 3, 2009, Sosa announced his intention to retire from baseball. He made the announcement in the Dominican Republic and said that he was calmly looking forward to his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame since his statistics were up to par.[21]

Drug test controversy and Hall of Fame

On June 16, 2009, The New York Times reported that Sosa was on a list of players who had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, including Sosa in baseball's steroids scandal. The paper stated that this information had been obtained from unnamed attorneys with knowledge of Major League Baseball drug test results from 2003.[22]

Previously, Sosa sat alongside Rafael Palmeiro, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire at a 2005 hearing before Congress. His attorney testified on his behalf,[23] stating, "To be clear, I have never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs. I have never injected myself or had anyone inject me with anything. I have not broken the laws of the United States or the laws of the Dominican Republic. I have been tested as recently as 2004, and I am clean."[24]

In an interview with ESPN Deportes, Sosa said he would "calmly wait" for his induction into baseball's Hall of Fame, for which he became eligible in 2013. On January 9, 2013, Sosa was not elected by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) into baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, receiving 12.5% on his first year on the ballot (the requirement for election is 75%). For the elections of 2014 through 2016 he received 7.2%, 6.6%, and 7.0%. A candidate remains eligible for inclusion on subsequent ballots as long as he receives a minimum of 5.0% of the vote from the BBWAA.

On October 2, 2016 at a press conference at Fenway Park, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said that anonymous drug tests from 2003 were inconclusive because "it was hard to distinguish between certain substances that were legal, available over the counter, and not banned under our program."[25] Manfred argued that "it was important to make people understand that even if your name was on that list, that it was entirely possible that you were not a positive".[26] Furthermore, Manfred sustained that the 2003 test was supposed to be confidential and it would be unfair to judge players based on "leaks, rumors, innuendo, [and] not confirmed positive test results".[25] Manfred finished by stating that Hall of Fame voters should use their best judgment and only consider confirmed testing by the MLB as there were many "legitimate scientific questions about whether or not those were truly positives."[26]

Personal life

Sosa is married to Sonia Rodríguez, a Dominican TV dancer as a child,[27] with whom he has six children: Keysha, Kenia, Sammy Jr., Michael, Kalexy and Rolando. The couple was married by the Catholic Church on December 18, 2004, at Altos de Chavón, La Romana; they had already been married civilly for 12 years.

In 2009, Sosa appeared at a music awards show looking much lighter in complexion than he had just months earlier. The buzz around this drastic change prompted him to go on a Spanish-language television station to deny that he was ill, that he hated being dark-skinned, or that his new skin tone was the result of steroid use. Sosa explained that he uses a bleaching cream before going to bed that softens and lightens his skin.[28]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Hank Aaron reached 500 homers shortly after his teammate Eddie Mathews (512 homers) retired.

References

  1. ^ "Sortable Player Stats". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  2. ^ a b c d Sammy Sosa career stats. Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed June 5, 2007.
  3. ^ "ACTA IMPACTA El dirigente de Cleveland trabaja con niños en Ingenio Consuelo".
  4. ^ Sosa: An Autobiography, Sammy Sosa and Marcos Bretón, Time Warner, 2000, p.23
  5. ^ Sosa, Sammy; Bretón, Marcos, eds. (21 December 2008). "Sosa: An Autobiography". Time Warner. p. 16. ISBN 9780446555364.
  6. ^ "BASEBALL; Sammy Sosa joins the 500 club" – via www.MLB.com.
  7. ^ AP (30 July 1989). "BASEBALL; Baines to Rangers For Fletcher" – via www.nytimes.com.
  8. ^ "Flashback #1: White Sox Trade Sosa To Cubs For Bell (1992)".
  9. ^ Cunniff, Bill (1999-11-26). "Sosa plays host at party at his island mansion". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 3. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
  10. ^ MacMullan, Jackie (October 17, 2002). "A bronze homage to Babe". The Boston Globe. p. E3. Retrieved November 8, 2011. By 2001, they were paying their own way to present Sammy Sosa with his Babe Ruth Award.(subscription required)
  11. ^ Sosa ejected after cork is found in shattered bat. (June 4, 2003) ESPN.com. Accessed 2007-06-05.
  12. ^ Seventy-six Sosa bats found to be clean. (June 5, 2003). ESPN.com. Accessed 2007-06-05.
  13. ^ Mead, Doug. "The 25 Most Embarrassing Moments in MLB History".
  14. ^ Sosa banned over bat. (6 June 2003) BBC Sport. Accessed 2007-06-05.
  15. ^ Sosa has ban reduced. (12 June 2003) BBC Sport. Accessed 2007-06-05.
  16. ^ Jayson Stark (February 16, 2006). Sosa passes on Nats; likely to end career. ESPN.com. Accessed June 5, 2007.
  17. ^ T. R. Sullivan (January 17, 2007). Sosa, Rangers agree in principle to deal. MLB.com. Accessed 2007-06-05.
  18. ^ DeLuca, Chris (February 22, 2007). "Sosa's 21 a long-distance number". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  19. ^ "Sosa becomes fifth player to blast 600 home runs". Associated Press. ESPN. June 20, 2007. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  20. ^ "Sosa not pursuing MLB job, says he intends to retire in 2009". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2008-10-03.
  21. ^ Sammy Sosa planning to announce formal retirement ESPN
  22. ^ Schmidt, Michael S. (June 17, 2009). "Sosa Is Said to Have Tested Positive in 2003". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  23. ^ McCann, Michael (2009-06-16). "Will steroids report lead to perjury investigation of Sammy Sosa?". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
  24. ^ "Report: Sosa is on '03 MLB positive drug test list". ESPN.com. 16 June 2009.
  25. ^ a b "Manfred: Possible Ortiz was PED-free in '03".
  26. ^ a b "David Ortiz Gets A Steroid Hall Pass From MLB's Commissioner". 3 October 2016.
  27. ^ Cruz, Héctor J. (June 7, 2010). "Él también es un humano, no lo olviden" (in Spanish). Listín Diario. Note: The vedettes of the TV program "Sábado de Corporán" were known as "corporette". Archived from the original on July 1, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  28. ^ Bonesteel, Matt (July 13, 2017). "Sammy Sosa's appearance gets even more peculiar". Retrieved December 28, 2017 – via www.WashingtonPost.com.

Further reading

External links

1998 Chicago Cubs season

The 1998 Chicago Cubs season was the 127th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 123rd in the National League and the 83rd at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished second in the National League Central with a record of 90–73.

The season was a significant one for the team for several reasons. Firstly, it saw the Cubs reach the playoffs for the first time since 1989 by way of a Wild Card berth, which they clinched after winning a one-game playoff against the San Francisco Giants. The Cubs, however, would lose the Division Series in a 3-0 sweep by the Atlanta Braves. The season also saw Sammy Sosa, along with Mark McGwire, surpass the existing single-season home run record of 61. Sosa would hold the home run lead at several points over the course of the season, eventually finishing four homers behind McGwire (66 and 70 respectively). The 1998 season also saw the debut of Kerry Wood, who drew immediate national attention because of a 20-strikeout performance in his fifth career start, a 13-6 record over 26 starts, and more than 12 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

1998 Major League Baseball season

The 1998 Major League Baseball season ended with the New York Yankees sweeping the San Diego Padres in the World Series, after they had won a then AL record 114 regular season games. The Yankees finished with 125 wins for the season (regular season and playoffs combined), which remains the MLB record.

The 1998 season was also marked by an expansion to 30 teams (16 in the NL, 14 in the AL), with two new teams–the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the American League–added to the MLB. To keep the leagues with even numbers of teams while allowing both leagues to have a new team, the Milwaukee Brewers were moved from the American League Central Division to the National League Central Division. The Detroit Tigers were shifted from the American League East to the American League Central, while the Devil Rays were added to the American League East. The Diamondbacks were added to the National League West, making the NL have more teams than the AL for the first time.

The biggest story of the season was the historic chase of the single-season home run record held at the time by Roger Maris. Initially, the St. Louis Cardinals' Mark McGwire and Ken Griffey, Jr. of the Seattle Mariners started the season on a pace to both break Maris' record. In June, the chase was joined by the Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa, who broke the decades-old record of Rudy York for most home runs in a calendar month with 20 that month. Eventually, Griffey fell off the record pace, but still ended with 56 homers. Both McGwire and Sosa broke the record in September, with McGwire ultimately finishing with 70 homers to Sosa's 66. McGwire's record would last only three years, with Barry Bonds hitting 73 in 2001. The 1998 season was also the first in MLB history with four players hitting 50 or more homers, with Greg Vaughn of the San Diego Padres hitting 50. In a postscript to the record chase, both McGwire and Sosa have since been widely accused of having used performance-enhancing drugs during that period, and McGwire would admit in 2010 that he had used steroids during the record-setting season.The defending World Series champions Florida Marlins finished last in the NL East Division at 54-108, making it the first, and only, time that a team went from winning the World Series one year to finishing with 100 or more losses and last in their division the following year.

2001 Chicago Cubs season

The 2001 Chicago Cubs season was the 130th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 126th in the National League and the 86th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished third in the National League Central with a record of 88–74.

2001 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 2001 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 72nd playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 10, 2001 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington, home of the Seattle Mariners of the American League. The American League defeated the National League, 4–1. This was Cal Ripken, Jr.'s 19th and final All-Star Game. It was also the final All-Star Game for San Diego Padres legendary right fielder Tony Gwynn.

30–30 club

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the 30–30 club is the group of batters who have collected 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a single season. Ken Williams was the first to achieve this, doing so in 1922. He remained the sole member of the club for 34 years until Willie Mays achieved consecutive 30–30 seasons in 1956 and 1957. Bobby Bonds became the club's fourth member in 1969 and became the first player in MLB history to reach the 30–30 club on three occasions and ultimately on five occasions, subsequently achieving the milestone in 1973, 1975, 1977 and 1978. He remained the only player to accomplish this until 1997, when his son Barry Bonds achieved his fifth 30–30 season. The most recent players to reach the milestone are José Ramírez and Mookie Betts, who achieved the feat during the 2018 season.

In total, 40 players have reached the 30–30 club in MLB history and 13 have done so more than once. Of these 40 players, 27 were right-handed batters, eight were left-handed and five were switch hitters, meaning they could bat from either side of the plate. The Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies and New York Mets are the only franchises to have three players reach the milestone. Five players—Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa—are also members of the 500 home run club, and Aaron, Mays and Rodriguez are also members of the 3,000 hit club. Dale Murphy, Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Larry Walker, Jimmy Rollins, Braun and Betts won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in the same year as their 30–30 season, with Bonds achieving this on two occasions (1990 and 1992). Both Mays and Rollins also reached the 20–20–20 club in the same season. Four different players accomplished 30–30 seasons in 1987, 1996, 1997 and 2011, the most in a single season.Due to the rarity of a player excelling in the combination of hitting home runs and stealing bases, Baseball Digest called the 30–30 club "the most celebrated feat that can be achieved by a player who has both power and speed." Of the 22 members eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame, five have been elected and two were elected on the first ballot. Eligibility requires that a player has "been retired five seasons" or deceased for at least six months, disqualifying nine active players and six players who have been retired for less than five seasons.

50 home run club

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the 50 home run club is the group of batters who have hit 50 or more home runs in a single season. Babe Ruth was the first to achieve this, doing so in 1920. By reaching the milestone, he also became the first player to hit 30 and then 40 home runs in a single-season, breaking his own record of 29 from the 1919 season. Ruth subsequently became the first player to reach the 50 home run club on four occasions, repeating the achievement in 1921, 1927 and 1928. He remained the only player to accomplish this until Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa matched his feat in 1999 and 2001, respectively, thus becoming the only players to achieve four consecutive 50 home run seasons. Barry Bonds hit the most home runs to join the club, collecting 73 in 2001. The most recent players to reach the milestone are Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, achieving the feat during the 2017 season.In total, 29 players have reached the 50 home run club in MLB history and nine have done so more than once. Of these, seventeen were right-handed batters, eleven were left-handed, and one was a switch hitter, meaning he could bat from either side of the plate. Four of these players (including two active members of the 50 home run club) have played for only one major league team. The New York Yankees are the only franchise to have five players reach the milestone while on their roster: Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Alex Rodriguez, and Judge. Ten players are also members of the 500 home run club and two of them (Willie Mays and Rodriguez) are also members of the 3,000 hit club. Ten players won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in the same year as their 50 home run season. Mantle is the only player to have earned the Major League Triple Crown alongside achieving 50 home runs, leading both leagues in batting average, home runs and runs batted in (RBI). Mantle and Maris—collectively known as the M&M Boys—are the only teammates to reach the 50 home run club in the same season, hitting a combined 115 home runs in 1961 and breaking the single-season record for home runs by a pair of teammates. Albert Belle is the only player to amass 50 or more doubles in addition to attaining 50 home runs. Prince Fielder, at 23 years and 139 days, was the youngest player to reach the milestone while Bonds, at age 37, was the oldest.Due to the infrequent addition of members into the 50 home run club, Baseball Digest called it "a restrictive fraternity comprising slugging elite" in 1954, when there were only six members. Of the seventeen members eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame, eight have been elected and three were elected on the first ballot. Eligibility requires that a player has "been retired five seasons" or deceased for at least six months, disqualifying four active players and five players who have been retired for less than five seasons. Some believe the milestone has become less important with the large number of new members; fifteen players joined the club on a total of 24 occasions from 1995 to 2010. Additionally, several of these recent members have had ties to performance-enhancing drugs.

Baseball in the Dominican Republic

Baseball is the most popular sport in the Dominican Republic. It is a major sport in the country, and was introduced in the late-19th century in the city of San Pedro de Macorís by Cuban immigrants. After the United States, the Dominican Republic has the second-highest number of baseball players in Major League Baseball (MLB). The Dominican Republic national baseball team has won the Baseball World Cup in 1948 and the World Baseball Classic in 2013.

Chicago Cubs award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Chicago Cubs professional baseball team.

Consuelo, Dominican Republic

Consuelo is a municipality (municipio) of the San Pedro de Macorís Province in the Dominican Republic.For comparison with other municipalities and municipal districts see the list of municipalities and municipal districts of the Dominican Republic.

There are a few different so called barrios in Consuelo: among others: Pueblo Nuevo, La Habana, Guachupita, Libertad, El Cachipero, Sueño Real, Los Jardines, Enriquillo, Hato Mayor, El Invi, El Kilombo, Guamita, and La Loma.

Consuelo is the actual birthplace of Sammy Sosa, a famous baseball player.

Hank Aaron Award

The Hank Aaron Award is given annually to the Major League Baseball (MLB) players selected as the top hitter in each league, as voted on by baseball fans and members of the media. It was introduced in 1999 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Hank Aaron's surpassing of Babe Ruth's career home run mark of 714 home runs. The award was the first major award to be introduced by Major League Baseball in 19 years.

For the 1999 season, a winner was selected using an objective points system. Hits, home runs, and runs batted in (RBI) were given certain point values and the winner was the player who had the highest tabulated points total.In 2000, the system was changed to a ballot in which each MLB team's radio and television play-by-play broadcasters and color analysts voted for three players in each league. Their first place vote receives five points, the second place vote receives three points, and the third place vote receives one point. Beginning in 2003, fans were given the opportunity to vote via MLB's official website, MLB.com. Fans' votes account for 30% of the points, while broadcasters' and analysts' votes account for the other 70%.The award is handed out to the winners of both leagues before Game 4 of the World Series each year, with Aaron himself presenting the awards.

The first winners of the award were Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa in 1999, while the most recent winners are J. D. Martinez and Christian Yelich. Alex Rodriguez won the award four times, the most of any player. The winner with the most hits was Todd Helton in 2000, Barry Bonds in 2001 had the most home runs, and Manny Ramírez in 1999 had the most RBIs. Players from the Boston Red Sox have won the award five times, the most of any team.

Home Run Derby

The Home Run Derby is an annual home run hitting contest in Major League Baseball (MLB) customarily held the day before the MLB All-Star Game, which places the contest on a Monday in July. Since the inaugural derby in 1985, the event has seen several rule changes, evolving from a short outs-based competition, to multiple rounds, and eventually a bracket-style timed event.

Keith Reed

Keith A. Reed (born October 8, 1978 in Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder for the Baltimore Orioles.

Reed was one of Baltimore's seven first-round draft picks in the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft. He was the Orioles #1 prospect in 2001 and made his major league debut on May 11, 2005, called up to replace Sammy Sosa on the roster. Reed played only 6 games with the Orioles, getting 1 hit in 5 at bats. He spent all of 2006 with Triple-A Ottawa, hitting .279 with 10 home runs and 65 RBI.

After the 2006 season, Reed signed with the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League. He batted .286 and set career-highs in home runs, RBI, stolen bases, hits, runs, and at-bats, Helping the team win the atlantic league championship over the Somerset Patriots that September. In 2008, Reed had an even better season, hitting .295 with 26 home runs and 93 RBI. However, he has not played affiliated ball since.

Larry Himes

Lawrence Austin Himes (born October 7, 1940 in Riverside, California, United States) is a former general manager for two Major League Baseball teams: the Chicago White Sox (from 1986 until 1990) and the Chicago Cubs (from 1991 until 1994). He is best known for trading for Sammy Sosa during each tenure. Prior to becoming a general manager, he was the California Angels scouting director from 1981 through 1986. During his nine-year playing career (1961–69), Himes was a catcher in minor league baseball, batting .249 in 725 games played.

List of Chicago Cubs team records

The following lists statistical records and all-time leaders as well as awards and major accomplishments for the Chicago Cubs professional baseball club of Major League Baseball. The records list the top 5 players in each category since the inception of the Cubs.

Players that are still active with the Cubs are denoted in bold.

Records updated as of August 5, 2011.

List of Major League Baseball career putouts as a right fielder leaders

In baseball statistics, a putout (denoted by PO or fly out when appropriate) is given to a defensive player who records an out by a tagging a runner with the ball when he is not touching a base (a tagout), catching a batted or thrown ball and tagging a base to put out a batter or runner (a force out), catching a thrown ball and tagging a base to record an out on an appeal play, catching a third strike (a strikeout), catching a batted ball on the fly (a flyout), or being positioned closest to a runner called out for interference.

A right fielder, abbreviated RF, is the outfielder in baseball or softball who plays defense in right field. Right field is the area of the outfield to the right of a person standing at home plate and facing towards the pitcher's mound. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the right fielder is assigned the number 9.

Paul Waner is the all-time leader in putouts by a right fielder with 4,740 career. Roberto Clemente (4,454), Dwight Evans (4,247), Hank Aaron (4,163), Tony Gwynn (4,052), Sammy Sosa (4,019), and Ichiro Suzuki (4,006) are the only other right fielders to record over 4,000 career putouts.

List of Major League Baseball career strikeouts by batters leaders

In baseball, a strikeout (or strike-out) occurs when a batter accumulates three strikes during a time at bat (i.e. the batter fails to hit the ball in three successive pitches). It usually means the batter is out. A strikeout is a statistic recorded for both pitchers and batters, and is denoted by K.Reggie Jackson holds the record for the most career strikeouts by a batter with 2,597. Jim Thome (2,548), Adam Dunn (2,379), Sammy Sosa (2,306), Alex Rodriguez (2,287) and Andres Galarraga (2,003) are the only other hitters to strikeout over 2,000 times.

MLB Japan All-Star Series

The MLB Japan All-Star Series is a quadrennial end-of-the-season tour of Japan made by an All-Star team from Major League Baseball (MLB) since 1986, contested in a best-of format against the All-Stars from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) or recently as of 2014 their national team Samurai Japan (SJP).

The series featured many great players, such as Nori Aoki, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Hideki Matsui, Ichiro Suzuki, Shinnosuke Abe, David Ortiz, Sammy Sosa, Justin Morneau, David Wright, Jose Reyes, José Altuve, Robinson Canó and Manny Ramírez.

In the beginning of all games the American, Canadian and Japanese national anthems are all played. And games can end in a tie if it persists through 12 innings, just as in NPB rules.

Silver Slugger Award

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball. These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.The prize is presented to outfielders irrespective of their specific position. This means that it is possible for three left fielders, or any other combination of outfielders, to win the award in the same year, rather than one left fielder, one center fielder, and one right fielder. In addition, only National League pitchers receive a Silver Slugger Award; lineups in the American League include a designated hitter in place of the pitcher in the batting order, so the designated hitter receives the award instead.Home run record-holder Barry Bonds won twelve Silver Slugger Awards in his career as an outfielder, the most of any player. He also won the award in five consecutive seasons twice in his career: from 1990 to 1994, and again from 2000 to 2004. Retired former New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza and former New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez are tied for second, with ten wins each. Rodriguez' awards are split between two positions; he won seven Silver Sluggers as a shortstop for the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, and three with the Yankees as a third baseman. Wade Boggs leads third basemen with eight Silver Slugger Awards; Barry Larkin leads shortstops with nine. Other leaders include Ryne Sandberg (seven wins as a second baseman) and Mike Hampton (five wins as a pitcher). Todd Helton and Albert Pujols are tied for the most wins among first baseman with four, although Pujols has won two awards at other positions. David Ortiz has won seven awards at designated hitter position, the most at that position.

ZOOperstars!

ZOOperstars! is a traveling inflatable entertainment act, based in Louisville, Kentucky who utilizes comedy, acrobatics, tricks and maneuvers accompanied by synchronized dancing to entertain. The name ZOOperstars! is derived from the "pun-based animal athlete monikers such as Shark McGwire, Ken Giraffey Jr. and Tim Tebull." Currently, the mascot dance troupe has over 40 different characters who sport similar pun-based names. The ZOOperstars! act is one of the busiest traveling entertainment acts in the business. In the sports industry, they are most famous for their popular "Eat It" skit where "the impressively tall inflatable clam clad in a Sammy Sosa jersey greedily "devours" opposing coaches, bat boys, or whoever else happens to be around, then spits out his meal's shirt, shoes, and cap, all while Weird Al Yankovic's Eat It plays in the background." Their most notable accomplishment could be a earning a place in the Top 20 in 2008 on NBC's America's Got Talent.

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Dante Bichette
Mark McGwire
Matt Williams
Jeff Kent
Jeff Bagwell
National League Player of the Month
July 1996
June 1998
May 1999
July 2000
August 2001
Succeeded by
Ken Caminiti
Vladimir Guerrero
Jeromy Burnitz
Todd Helton
Barry Bonds
Sporting News Sportsman/Pro Athlete of the Year
Home Run Derby champions

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